A proposed new tower is set to be London’s second tallest structure, and in keeping with the city’s tradition already has its own nickname, The Tulip. But social media has come up with a few more colourful descriptions.
The tower is designed to resemble a flower, with visitors ascending a long thin stem to an observation building on top, shaped like the petals of the bulbous blossom.
Designed by global architecture firm Foster + Partners, the tower would be built within the ground-floor plaza of one of the firm’s other notable London skyscrapers, 30 St Mary Axe, or the Gherkin.
The project has been proposed by J. Safra Group, a privately owned banks and investment holdings company that owns the Gherkin.
At 305.3 metres, The Tulip would be just shy of being London’s tallest building, which is The Shard at 306 metres. It would also edge out a new skyscraper development underway, 1 Undershaft, planned to be 304 metres.
The Tulip’s proposed steel frame and glazed tipped attraction would feature rotating glass observation “gondolas” on three sides, with sky bridges connecting 12 storeys of internal viewing platforms, all offering sweeping views of London.
The building will also feature a bar and restaurant with 360-degree views, as well as an education space that would offer 20,000 free places each year to local state school children for use of the facilities, including interactive guides to teach visitors about London’s history.
If approved, construction could begin on the tower in 2020 and be open by 2025.
It joins a list of other London buildings that have received a creative moniker based on their resemblance to everyday objects. The Gherkin was one of the first, but it has since been followed by others such as the Leadenhall Building by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, also known as the Cheesegrater, and Rafael Viñoly’s 20 Fenchurch Street, otherwise known as the Walkie Talkie.
However, some on social media have referred to The Tulip’s resemblance to a certain body parts, a wooden spoon, an electric toothbrush and even a sex toy.
If the The Tulip gets approved, it would join a list of 13 other skyscrapers which are currently under construction, have been approved, or are about to commence construction, in London’s compact financial district, all to be completed by 2026 — with six of the 13 skyscrapers also offering public observations decks.